UW-Whitewater: Alumni named CFOs of the Year by Milwaukee Business Journal

Contact: Melissa DiMotto

(262) 472-1195


WHITEWATER ­ Two University of Wisconsin-Whitewater alumni will be honored by the Milwaukee Business Journal Friday as Chief Financial Officers of the Year.

Dale Kent, CFO and executive vice president of West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, will be cited as a leader in the public/private companies with sales of more than $250 million category.

Sandra Ammerman, CFO of Interfaith Senior Programs in Waukesha, will be cited as a leader in the nonprofit organizations category.

Kent and Ammerman are among 16 Milwaukee-area executives selected by the magazine.

Kent, a 1974 graduate of the College of Business and Economics at UW-Whitewater, is also a member of the college’s Dean’s Advisory Board. He joined West Bend Mutual seven years ago after a 28-year career with Arthur Andersen.

West Bend Mutual had sales of $686 million in 2008 and employs approximately 1,000. As CFO, Kent is responsible for keeping the company solvent. He manages investments and oversees risk. He also is in charge of a number of nonfinancial departments at the company, including human resources. Kent is also active in his community, serving as chairman of the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.

Kent credits UW-Whitewater with preparing him for a successful career. “I was one of those rare students who knew exactly what I wanted to do in life and I came to Whitewater because I knew it had a business school that would help me prepare for that,” he said. “Now, obviously, no one knows in college exactly what he’s going to need in a career, but I got the background I needed to move forward.”

Ammerman, a 1989 UW-Whitewater graduate, worked in industry for several years and joined the Interfaith Senior Programs staff four years ago. Interfaith Senior Programs is a faith-based nonprofit organization serving Waukesha County. Its programs include the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Faith in Action. The agency serves more than 1,300 individuals each year and coordinates more than 1,500 volunteers for 117 nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

“I’m in charge of all the financial data for the agencies and for getting the annual audit done,” Ammerman said. “I decided to come here because I wanted to use my background in accounting to help make a difference in the community.”

Ammerman said she attended UW-Whitewater because of the university’s reputation for having a strong business school and, particularly, for its accounting program.

“Our accounting program has a long history of excellent students and alumni and we’re especially pleased that many of them remain to work in Wisconsin, and also that so many of them return to campus to mentor our students,” said Lois Smith, interim dean of the College of Business and Ecnomics.

The College of Business and Economics recently moved into Timothy J. Hyland Hall, a $41.5 million building that includes 180,000 square feet of classroom and office space.